Death Road Bolivia

Death Road Bolivia

The death road bolivia or North Yungas Road, (also called “Death Road” or “Road of Fate”) is a road located in Bolivia that leads from La Paz to Coroico. This road was built in the 1930s by Paraguayan prisoners during the Chaco War. The Inter-American Development Bank named it “the world’s most dangerous road” in 1995, true to its name one estimate in 2006 stated that 200-300 travellers a year are killed on this road. There is also a “South Yungas Road” this road connects La Paz to Chulumani and is just about as dangerous as the North Yungas Road. The Death Road is one of the few roads in the country that connects the Yungas region of North Bolivia to La Paz. When leaving this capital city (La Paz) the route first ascends to about 15,260 feet (4,650 m) at the La Cumbre Pass before descending to 3,900 feet or (1,200 m) to the town of Coroico. It then transits quickly from the Altiplano terrain to the rainforest while passing through steep hillsides and cliffs.

Death Road Bolivia

Photo of Death Road Bolivia

Photo of Death Road Bolivia

The width of most of this road is about 10 feet or (3.2 m) without guard rails and cliffs of up to 2,000 feet or (600 m). From November to March (the rainy season) fog and rain of course affect the visibility of drivers and bikers, and if that weren’t enough the rain turns the unpaved roads into a muddy track. Sorry to say that the road isn’t any safer in the summer with dust (produced when cars pass each other) also affecting visibility and rocks falling from the mountain side are all quite common during this season. There is a local rule for only this road in Bolivia, it requires cars to drive on the left side of the lane, this is to give the drivers a better view and makes passing safer, in other words this a way of reminding the drivers… “Hey you’re on Death Road, Drive Carefully!” This dangerous road started being a tourist attraction in 1990 drawing around 25,000 daredevils; particularly mountain bikers go visit for the downhill biking because of the roads 40 mile stretch of continuous downhill riding.

If you ever plan to visit you’ll be happy to know that guides, equipment, and transportation are all provided by the many tour operators who cater this activity. But keep in mind it’s called the Death Road for a reason, around 18 cyclists have died on this road since 1998, so becareful! On a more personal note, you couldn’t pay me enough to even walk on the Death Road let alone drive or bike it! 😉




 
Death Road Bolivia
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